How Can I Shop Safely Online?

Shopping on the internet is growing in popularity. With new online stores appearing on the internet all the time, the temptation to buy online is ever increasing. Unfortunately, this means more opportunities for fraudsters to take a slice of that money.

How, then, do you minimise the risks of credit card fraud?

How Can I Shop Safely Online?

Secure Shopping

The very first consideration when buying online is whether the website you are visiting is secure. Most established online retailers these days have secure pages wherever you need to enter personal or financial data. That doesn’t mean, however, that all of them do.

One way to check whether a web page is secure or not is to check your browser’s address bar to see if the site is prefaced with ‘https’.┬áIf it is then this would indicate that the page is indeed secure.

On the other hand, if the address begins with ‘http’ then the page is not secure and you should definitely not enter any sensitive information.

Padlocked

Another means of determining if a website page is secure is to look for a picture of a closed lock or an unbroken key. These images are typically found in the bottom right corner of your browser window.

If the lock is open, or the key is broken, then the page is not secure.

SSL

Finally, you should look to see if secure certificates or ‘SSL’ are mentioned anywhere .

These logos often appear somewhere near the bottom of the screen.

If you are still unsure whether a website is secure or not then you could always try emailing the company to gain confirmation.

Credit Card Fraud Is Common

Credit card fraud is still a relatively common crime on the internet. Even with the tight security that some larger websites have, there are always some con artists who are able to circumvent them.

So what should you do you if you think you have been scammed?

Keep Receipts

Obviously, the first step is to check whether charges on your credit card are really unauthorised. To this end, you really should keep all those receipts that you receive.

A common reason for disputed credit card entries is that some companies show up on statements with unexpected names. Therefore, it is worth revisiting the website, or checking emails and receipts, to see if this may be the cause of your query.

Fraudsters Abound

Whilst fraud on the internet certainly doesn’t affect a huge proportion of surfers, it is an ever-growing problem. It is always advisable to stick to well-known and trusted sites when making purchases and to always use a credit card so as to have some protection if you do become a victim.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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